COVID this week

The second wave may have peaked in Weston over the past 14 days.

In the past three weeks, there were 105 cases of COVID in Weston, down from 117 two weeks ago (there was no data reported last week).

Weston has consistently been one of the worst-affected parts of the city. To date, 6.8% of Westonians have contracted COVID. Our neighbourhood is 9th out of 140.

COVID this week

While COVID cases are climbing elsewhere, Weston is seeing progress. There have been 61 cases in the past 21 days, down from 85 last week and 105 the week before.

Our neighbourhood rate remains above the city average, but a win is a win!

COVID cases double in Weston—faster than any community in Toronto

The number of COVID cases in the past 21 days has more than doubled in Weston. Last week, we had 26 cases in the past 21 days. This week, there were 57 cases in 21 days.

COVID is spreading faster here than in any other community in Toronto.

The number of new cases. From the city.
This maps shows the rate of new cases by population. From the city.

All the new cases have occurred outside healthcare facilities.

The disease continues to hit minority communities and poorer communities hardest.

From TPH
From TPH

You can explore the city data on their website.

Another Consequence of Covid-19

The (now deceased) Bank of Montreal branch on Weston Road and John Street. The bank where time stood still.

According to a friend in the banking business, online banking has expanded hugely during the pandemic. People who until recently have resisted modern technology are being been forced into the digital age. Huge resources have been diverted into teaching these customers how to use internet banking over the phone and apparently once they have tried it, many have found it surprisingly easy and have indicated they will continue after Covid goes away (2022?). They have been pleased with how easy it is to move money between accounts and don’t miss waiting in line although many also regret losing contact with a human teller.

As a result of the adoption of online banking by many more people, my source tells me that bank bosses are accelerating plans to close branches earlier than they dared hope a few months ago.We’re down to a precious few branches in Weston. Let’s hope that some will remain.

Thought of the day:Did you ever imagine that one day you’d put on a mask and enter a bank?

ActiveTO Quiet Streets launch dead on arrival.

Toronto the Careful™ has struck again.

Call me jaded but the plan to open up Toronto’s streets to pedestrians and cyclists seems to be (like most council actions in our fair city) massively underwhelming and certainly in Ward 5 the selection of streets doesn’t seem to address the spirit of the initiative. The idea was to ensure that, “people have space to get around on sidewalks while respecting physical distancing“. 

57 km or a minuscule 1.7% of Toronto’s 3,322 km of neighbourhood streets (excludes expressways, arterial and collector roads) will be temporarily signed and barricaded off to all but local traffic. York South-Weston is giving this treatment to 3.7 kilometres of its streets. Sadly none are in Weston or Mount Dennis.

The Ward 5 closed off streets will be:

StreetFromToLength
Bicknell AveRogers RdEglinton Ave 0.9 km
Silverthorn AveSt. Clair Ave WDonald Ave 

Total of 2.8 km

Donald AveSilverthorn AveHaverson Blvd
Haverson BlvdDonald AveCameron Ave
Blackthorn AveCameron AveEglinton Ave W

Source: Councillor Nunziata’s May 13 COVID Update.

Council felt the need to do something, and something, albeit timid and careful has been done. At least they restrained themselves from calling it a pilot. Additional streets will be considered ‘thereafter’.

The affected streets are shown with red dotted lines. Click to enlarge. Adapted from Google Maps.

According to Councillor Nunziata’s update, the criteria for selection of these streets was, “…several factors including, but not limited to, population density, equity, access to greenspace, car ownership rates, and traffic volumes.“. The councillor’s selection appears to be entirely inside her newly acquired constituency – Frank DiGiorgio’s  former Ward 12 so perhaps this is a little nod to them.

Incidentally, all but one of the selected streets have sidewalks on both sides so it’s hard to imagine crowds of people jostling for space.

Looking south from where Blackthorn Ave and Haverson Blvd meet at Cameron Ave. From Google Maps.

Readers are invited to suggest locations in Weston and Mount Dennis that might be more suitable. We will forward them to the councillor for future consideration.

Update: The city has published their list of ‘Quiet Streets’ and the Ward 5 selections are nowhere to be seen.